Hartfod Courant focuses on CT Greens strategy of targeting smaller races, running ordinary people

Read the full piece here.

“Millionaires and celebrities get all the attention,” said Tim McKee, a spokesman for Connecticut Greens and a member of the party’s national committee. “We want to get more average people running for office, but it’s becoming harder and harder. … It’s a millionaires’ club.”

This year, the Green Party has candidates for attorney general, secretary of the state, treasurer and comptroller. It has no candidate for governor at this point.

The party’s nominee for governor in 2006, Clifford Thornton, just missed getting 1 percent of the vote, which means the party no longer has an automatic line on the gubernatorial ballot.

McKee and other Green activists are taking a different approach this year, focusing on winning legislative races in addition to the four state constitutional offices.

So far, the party has nominated four candidates for the General Assembly. It also tapped Scott Deshefy, a retired DEP worker from Lebanon, to run for Congress from the 2nd District.

“We’re trying to be realistic,” McKee said. “You spend a lot of money and energy running for high-profile offices, but it’s hard to get press, hard to get into any debates. … There are just tremendous hurdles for a party that’s trying to grow.”

Activists are emboldened by last week’s victory in Great Britain, where Caroline Lucas became the first Green Party member of Parliament.

5 thoughts on “Hartfod Courant focuses on CT Greens strategy of targeting smaller races, running ordinary people

  1. tiradefaction

    And there´s where third parties can truly be effective (and win), small state legislative districts. The vast majority of our efforts should be pulled there, taking form example the Vermont Progressive Party. We can build a base that way, the VPP proves this.

  2. paulie

    I think county-level races provide a better opportunity than state legislatures.

    In states where ballot access is an issue, it’s a lot easier to get people to sign at the county level, because many more people know their county than their legislative district (especially since legislative districts are frequently gerrymandered). Also, in some cases, polling a given percentage in one county wide race can create future ballot access for multiple races.

    As a practical consideration in geographically large states, actually *winning* a legislative race could be a problem for some potential candidates due to the frequent travel to the state capitol that is a requirement of their job. Although some counties are geographically large as well, it isn’t to the extent of states.

    Also: for medium-sized counties, the number of votes needed to win county races is less than what most state legislative races require. However, this is not the case in all states or all counties.

    Having anything like a majority or substantial minority in state legislatures is a much more difficult goal than doing the same thing on county boards and town councils. Thus, the goal of setting actual policy is much more plausible at the county level.

    And, county sheriffs have a lot of power, including making it much more difficult for the feds to operate in their counties. There is controversy about the extent of this, but a few sheriffs have tested it out with some success.

  3. Oh come on .......... Lake

    tiradefaction // May 10, 2010:
    ” ………. taking from example the Vermont Progressive Party ………

    [a] whose icon is the Bull Moose

    [b] the West Coast Progressives use the Elk

    [c] 2012 is the centennial of the TR effort

    [d] Theodore Bear stuffed toys are excellent fund raisers

    [e] the three bladed electricity generating wind mill is still available as a 21st century peace symbol

    [f] the eagle and or eagle head are ‘standing out by blending in ……..’

    [g] the eagle and or eagle head link to the hated federal government and it’s icon[s]

  4. tiradefaction

    @ 2

    I agree that municipal/county elections are very important. And it seems city/county legislation can be much more intensive and effective than most people realize. San Francisco after all enacted an universal health care system (however skimpy) all on their own. Building a very personal base with voters starting at the local level is also good organizing iirc.

    However, state legislature seats should be an eventual goal, and there is a number of small state legislative districts which wouldn´t take much to swing the vote towards a third party, well, with a lot of good organizing and a decent backboned campaign.

  5. paulie

    NH is good for that – small-population, relatively small geographically, large-membership legislature with multi-member districts.

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